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Unit 8

8.7 Europe During the Interwar Period

2 min readjune 11, 2020

bretnea-turner

Bretnea Turner


Fascist States’ Expansion Allowed by European Powers

Germany Remilitarized the Rhineland (between France and Germany)
Germany remilitarized the Rhineland, or the area around the Rhine River between Germany and France to create a buffer zone. There was no conflict between the two, but tensions began to rise in France knowing there was a German force stationed at their border. Hitler made this choice to make a potential invasion much faster, as they would have to cover less ground if they were already at the border; however, it was marketed as defense for Germany. 
Italy Invades Ethiopia
Italy first tried to take Ethiopia after the Partition of Africa in the 1890’s, but failed. A border skirmish in 1935 opened the opportunity for Mussolini to try again, and he was successful. The British highly protested the invasion, seeing that they claimed land in East Africa. Other than their opposition, the League of Nations was rendered ineffective and unable to stop Italy. 
Anschluss of Austria by Germany
Austria had recently adopted fascist policies to model Italy and had dissolved their parliament. This made their annexation by Germany both easy and welcomed by many in Austria. While the Nazis still overtook the Austrian fascist government and killed their Chancellor, the unification of Austria and Germany was relatively easy for Germany. This was a direct violation of the Treaty of Versailles. 
Appeasement of Hitler and German Annexation of the Sudetenland 
At a meeting in Munich among France, Great Britain, and Germany, the region of the Sudetenland was given to Hitler and Germany to keep peace among the nations. Hitler had made the argument that the region of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia was culturally German and the land could be used for farming, which was much needed in Germany. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain appeased the wishes of Hitler, despite the fact that he had already broken the terms of the Treaty of Versailles multiple times. 
Nazi and Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia was a non-aggression pact. It also promised certain territories - Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, part of Poland, and Finland - to the Soviets and much of Poland was to go to Nazi Germany as well. Effectively, this redrew the borders in Eastern Europe and, like the other territorial movements, violated the Treaty of Versailles.

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